Monitor: The US press assesses the immediate future of Bill Clinton

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The Independent Culture
POLLS SHOW that Americans want this process to be concluded swiftly, and there can be no doubt that the longer the uncertainty surrounding Clinton lasts, the weaker he will be in exercising the duties of his office.

Even though elections are coming in November, the House must move promptly to determine whether the case requires impeachment proceedings. That decision ought to be reached before the October recess. If the decision is affirmative, initial hearings should commence after the election, as the country cannot afford to drift through a crisis of leadership until a new Congress is seated.

The New York Times

ON THE one hand, the crimes alleged are serious ones and the evidence on some is quite strong; on the other hand, this misconduct took place in the context of a subsequently dismissed civil case and would probably not, in other circumstances, have been deemed worthy of investigation or prosecution. Mr Clinton's behaviour is at the margins of impeachability - straddling the line that separates disqualifying crimes from conduct that merely mars indelibly the presidential office and the man who holds it.

The Washington Post

Bill Clinton's presidency ended yesterday afternoon on the World Wide Web. He has disgraced himself and the high office that it was his privilege to hold.

His political support will collapse in the coming days, and, like a puppet cut loose from its strings, he will fall in a heap on the floor. The consequences for the country of his being allowed to continue in office are simply unacceptable.

We cannot abide another two-and-a-half years of explaining to our children why gross misconduct goes unpunished. We cannot abide another two-and- a-half years of explaining to ourselves why integrity and character do not matter.

We cannot abide another two-and-a-half years of shameless and faithless presidential leadership. Bill Clinton will leave office soon because he was and is unworthy of our trust. The sooner it happens, the better everyone will feel.

The Boston Globe